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Maryland Fishing Report: May 16

Photo of man holding largemouth bass

Rodney Butler got to spend a fine day with his brother Derrick while fishing at Piney Run Park. Photo by Derrick Butler

Most anglers know we had been going through a bit of a dry spell for several weeks, but, oh boy, did that come to an end. The heavy rains and stormy conditions moving through the state the past few days are expected to last through the weekend.

But the sun will shine again and it will be time to share the outdoors with family and friends. Fishing offers family time – catching up or reminiscing about growing up together – like no other activity.

There are some free fishing days coming up June 2, 9 and July 4. If you can think of someone you might like to introduce to fishing, this is a great opportunity for someone to try the sport without buying a license.

Read more…

Board of Public Works Approves Fair Hill Funding

Design Work to Begin as Facility Prepares to Host International Equestrian Competition

Photo of white horse jumpingThe Board of Public Works unanimously approved a Maryland Department of Natural Resources item that will authorize $1 million for design improvement services at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in anticipation of the Cecil County site hosting a newly-designated, international equestrian event.

The venue is slated to become only one of seven sites to host a premier 4-star or 5-star three-day eventing competition.

“The state is committed to bringing this world-renowned equestrian eventing competition to Cecil County and Fair Hill,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. Read more…

Horseshoe Crab Migration Begins on Maryland Beaches

People Can Help Protect Species on Ancient Spawning Run

Photo of horseshoe crabs in shallow waterIn the coming weeks, visitors to Maryland’s coastal bays and beaches can experience one of the world’s oldest migrations – horseshoe crabs emerging to spawn, as they’ve done here for the last 350 million years.

Massive numbers of these “living fossils” will come out of the depths of the Atlantic Ocean in May and June to lay their eggs on shore. The greatest number of horseshoe crabs can be found on Maryland beaches during the full moon, May 29 and June 28, and new moon, June 13 and July 12. Read more…

New Striped Bass Regulations Effective May 16

Enhanced Conservation Rules on Use of Bait and Hooks; Minimum Size Reduced to 19 Inches

Photo of angler

Fishing at Thomas Point Lighthouse; photo by Kim Cover

The opening of regular striped bass season May 16 coincides with new conservation-minded regulations pertaining to the use of bait, gear and hooks.

The Maryland General Assembly Joint Committee Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review Committee recently approved Maryland Department of Natural Resources regulations, which will be effective through Oct. 12, 2018.

Beginning May 16, 2018, in Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries:

  1. Anglers must use non-offset circle hooks when live-lining or chumming;
  2. Anglers must use circle hooks or “J” hooks when using fish, crabs or worms as bait, or when using processed baits; and
  3. The minimum size for striped bass is 19 inches.

Read more…

‘VenomMan20’ Guilty of Possessing Illegal, Venomous Snakes

Police Handle Oyster and Striped Bass Violations

Logo for Maryland Natural Resources Police

A Washington County man known on social media as “VenomMan20” was found guilty Tuesday on two counts of illegal possession of venomous snakes.

Brandon Joseph Boyles, 29, of Cascade, was prohibited from owning “dangerous animals” in Maryland and was required to perform 20 hours of community service by District Judge Marc G. Rasinsky. Boyles also received one year of unsupervised probation.

Billing himself as “VenomMan20” on YouTube, Boyles had six Western diamondback rattlesnakes, one seven-foot-long forest cobra, one Cape Coral cobra and two boomslang snakes when Maryland Natural Resources Police officers searched his apartment Feb. 22. Read more…

Maryland Offers License-Free Fishing Days in June and July

Statewide Opportunity to Give Angling a Try

Photo of young men fishing from a jettyThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites new or experienced anglers to enjoy Maryland’s License Free Fishing Days June 2, 9 and July 4.

This is a unique opportunity for Marylanders to test their fishing skills without the need to obtain a fishing license, trout stamp or registration. 

Read more…

Maryland Fishing Report: May 9

Boy holding striped bass

Nick Long had some topwater catch and release fun while fishing with his mom and dad on the Chesapeake Bay this past weekend. Photo by Travis Long

Those who fish know that the waters they love have many moods, and perhaps one of our favorites is when they are quiet and calm.

This past weekend with overcast skies and little wind was one of those times that the waters we fish seem to talk to us – from the bubbling mountain streams, to the calmer waters of ponds, lakes and Chesapeake Bay.

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Fort Frederick Rallies Troops To Garrison the Fort

Historic Reenactments May 12-13

Historic Reenactors Dressed as Troops Demonstrate Firing Weapons

Living historians will occupy and re-enact daily life at the centuries-old fort on the grounds of Fort Frederick State Park May 12-13 and the public is invited to attend.

Activities will take place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 12, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 13.

Volunteer re-enactors will demonstrate how the military encampment was established and operated, also known as garrisoning, when Fort Frederick was an important military stronghold during the French and Indian War. Events will include musket firing presentations, hearth cooking, artillery demonstrations and military drills. Read more…

Survey Shows Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Population Healthy

Despite a Cold Winter, More Young Crabs are in the Bay

Photo by Katie Macdonald

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources today released the results of the 2018 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey, which shows that the population of blue crabs remains healthy and sustainable.

While this year’s cold weather and ice cover took a toll on the adult crab population, causing an estimated 35 percent mortality of adult females wintering in state waters, the number of young crabs that returned to Chesapeake Bay this year increased 34 percent. Blue crabs spend the first part of their lives in the Atlantic Ocean before returning to the bay to grow and mature.

“Despite the cold, hard winter, which extended well into the spring, the blue crab population remains healthy, resilient and sustainable,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “Even with the erratic weather, which included snow in April,  the blue crab population remains well within parameters, showing that the state and our partners are managing the species well.” Read more…

Conservation Corps Plants Native Trees in Prince George’s County

Nearly 700 Trees Planted at Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary

The Maryland Park Service recently completed an important environmental restoration project, planting hundreds of native trees at Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary in Prince George’s County. It is the only wildlife sanctuary managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Photo of corps member with trees

Last week, members of the Maryland Conservation Corps and Veterans Conservation Corps planted 691 trees in an old agricultural field along the 2-mile section of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Driving Tour located in the sanctuary.

Read more…

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AccessDNR May 2018

The May 2018 edition of a monthly video newsletter hosted by Anna Lucente-Hoffmann.